If you’re planning to move to an urban neighborhood, you’ll likely end up in a multi-family dwelling of some sort. Be it a brownstone, co-op, or condo, multi-family buildings are the norm in most cities.
As you begin your search for your new urban home, keep the following tips in mind.
Be Honest With Your Co-op Broker
Getting into a co-op can be an expensive, exhausting ordeal, but it’s probably the easiest way to break into homeownership in the city. It’s important that you be upfront with your co-op broker about how much you can comfortably afford to spend so he or she can help you find the perfect home.
Consider Up And Coming Neighborhoods
You might be able to get a good deal if you consider moving into an up and coming neighborhood in the city. The trick is to do your research first to make sure it’s an emerging neighborhood with lots of potential. Drive around the neighborhood and look for things like new developments, coffee shops, and other amenities. These are all signs its an emerging neighborhood.
Research A Building’s Financial Status
Before signing on the dotted line, hire an attorney to research your potential new home’s financial status. The governing body that oversees the maintenance and repairs of the building should have enough reserve funds to handle major repairs. If not, you could be in for major expenses later on.
Talk to other people who live in the building to find out if there are any major problems with the building and what their experiences have been in terms of expenses living in the building.
Don’t Expect To Buy A Co-op And Use It As An Investment Property
Many co-ops don’t allow renting. This is to ensure you’re buying the property as a home and not as a rental property. In some cases, you may be able to rent a co-op for a short period of time, but in most cases, renting is not allowed.
Understand Your HOA Fees
Your monthly HOA fees usually cover exterior insurance on the building. You only need to insure your own belongings in your apartment. That said, if you live in a waterfront property in Miami, for example, the exterior insurance fees can be quite expensive. This is because they include hurricane coverage.
It’s important to understand what your HOA fees cover so you can factor any additional costs into your budget.
Understand The Pros And Cons Of Urban Living
Living in a condo, loft, or co-op can be a very positive experience. There is no lawn care or snow removal to worry about, and because you live in a building with others, there’s a sense of community and belonging. Also, urban living offers tons of amenities right outside your door.
At the same time, there is a downside to living in a multi-family building. You’ll have less control over fees, and you won’t be able to do what you want around the property.